The British American Football Association are ‘highly likely’ to extend their suspension beyond April 12th.
In a new joint statement from the CEO and Chair of BAFA they announced that all British American Football activity is likely to be postponed past the original date.
As with most sports BAFA are looking to reschedule the season as the proposed dates will be missed. The update says that the suspension is likely to last until June at the earliest, but with the unprecedented nature of the situation this is not confirmed.
The Premier Division North side, Merseyside Nighthawks were due to begin the regular season on the 26th April and finish August 2nd. The board are now trying to find an appropriate time to start the season but state that it will be unlikely to have any full contact games before mid-July.
A solution that is being investigated is playing a shortened form of the season, or one that that goes into October. This could be a blow for many teams as players leave to play Uniball, where recruitment starts in September and the season begins November.
Merseyside Nighthawks in their last training session before the suspension.
We spoke to Merseyside Nighthawks General Manager, Pete Horgan about how they should go ahead with the season, he said: “I’m not sure playing a shortened season makes sense but there is also a direct impact on University football that will happen if the senior season is extended past September. If this doesn’t disappear quickly, I can’t see past a complete abandonment of the 2020 season, and that sucks.”
Speaking on the affect Uniball would have on the Nighthawks team, should the season go into the later months, Horgan said: “The fact that a lot of our seniors are involved with coaching the two affiliated programmes (LJMU Fury and UoL Raptors) and we could see a large part of our team having to make tough decisions as to what they want to do. I am confident BAFA already know the implications and are working on a resolution for that.”
With all activity suspended in the foreseeable future it could mean a serious loss in preseason practice. The General Manger had this to say on the matter: “I think a season that doesn’t have the allowed preparation preseason is really going to be disadvantaging all teams in the BAFA community. We’re not like Sunday League football where you can turn up on a Sunday and kick a ball for 90 minutes and be okay. A lot of our preseason and certainly our planned training camp (now cancelled) focuses on installing our playbook, schemes and specials teams and we were probably only 25% installed (when the ban started).”
Being an extremely physical sport, it is important for the players to look after their bodies and stay in shape. With Gym closures this has certainly become a problem for many. When asked how his team plans to stay in shape he said: “Our players are currently finding new and innovative ways to stay in shape, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of our guys come back in worse condition than they left in. The lock down is going to do that to people unfortunately and unless we’re given a month or so to prepare, I can see a lot of unfortunate injuries occurring and we want to avoid that as much as possible.”
Read the full BAFA statement here.